In what was a weekend of terrific FA Cup action – including amazing performances, quality matches, wonderful goals and brilliant upsets – The72’s Team of the Week was a nightmare to pick. Below is the team that made the cut – do you agree with it? Who would you have added? Tweet us at @FBL72…
Adam Federici (Reading) – In what was a disappointing day for Reading, Adam Federici will be very happy with his personal performance. Brighton had five shots on target (compared to Reading’s zero) but only scored one, mainly thanks to Federici’s brilliance. The goal in question was thanks to a huge deflection and the Reading ‘keeper made three particularly good saves in the game; one which he pushed onto the bar, one to keep out Kemy Agustien and one to deny Keith Andrews. It was an easy choice to put Federici in this team.
Harry Maguire (Sheffield United) – It took a monumental effort for League 1 Sheffield United to slay Premier League Aston Villa and the young centre-half Harry Maguire was instrumental to this achievement. His towering presence, alongside Neil Collins, saw off the attacking threat of Christian Benteke, Nicklas Helenius and Andreas Weimann until the 75th minute. Maguire was a key part of the Blades disciplined game plan and helped them to a famous victory.
Scott Dann (Blackburn Rovers) – A terrific battling team performance was epitomised by Scott Dann as Blackburn took on, and more than matched, moneybags Manchester City yesterday. Dann was crucial in seeing out City for much of the first-half and, when they did go behind, he fired home the equaliser to set up an interesting replay at Eastlands.
Peter Hartley (Stevenage) – In what was a close-fought, but very impressive, victory for Stevenage, Peter Hartley stood head and shoulders above his teammates and opposition. His goal – Stevenage’s second – was crucial is swinging the pendulum his team’s way and, whilst the flurry of late action made the headlines, Hartley’s impressive performance gave Stevenage the advantage over their Championship opposition.
Tom Cairney (Blackburn) – The skilful right-midfielder, who recently joined Blackburn permanently, was the best player on the pitch as Rovers took on Manchester City, despite the wealth of talent which City possess. He came close to scoring the winner towards the end as Blackburn piled on the pressure and will no doubt be relishing another crack at the Citizens.
Andrew Crofts (Brighton) – In a game which Brighton were by far superior, but were kept at bay by a combination of superb goalkeeping and bad luck, it was Andrew Crofts who supplied the goal which booked the Seagulls place in Round 4. His combative performance made sure that Brighton dominated proceedings and gave his teammates licence to create opportunities going forward and his hard work made sure he earned the luck that he got with his deflected goal.
Michael Timlin (Southend) – In what was a shock result at Roots Hall, Southend’s Michael Timlin was crucial in ensuring that Southend recorded a famous 4-1 victory over Championship strugglers Millwall. He was an attacking threat throughout and was rewarded with a goal and an assist which helped the Shrimpers into Round 4 for the first time since 2008. He could have added another goal to his tally if it wasn’t for Jack Smith’s goal line clearance.
Ryan Flynn (Sheffield United) – Ryan Flynn caused Aston Villa a whole host of problems on the way to helping his side book their place in the 4th round. His spectacular goal was the highlight of a terrific upset and he had plenty of chances to make the score line more comfortable including one which forced a very strong save from Villa ‘keeper Jed Steer.
Jamie Paterson (Nottingham Forest) – Jamie Paterson netted a 15 minute second-half hat-trick to help Nottingham Forest on their way to a thumping 5-0 victory over Premier League West Ham. The young striker tormented the Hammers’ young defence and was by far and away the best player on the pitch. His goals were superb and Forest’s Premier League opposition had no answer.
James Hayter (Yeovil) – Whilst they would have been the favourites, no-one would have expected Yeovil to beat Leyton Orient in the manner that they did and James Hayter was instrumental in the win. His two headers epitomised what he can do as his side made light work of Orient. Hayter’s experience was crucial in Yeovil gaining their place in the next round.
Ian Henderson (Rochdale) – This team wouldn’t be complete without a Rochdale player after their brilliant 2-0 win over Championship side Leeds United, and Ian Henderson’s man-of-the-match performance meant that he has made the cut. His expertly finished volley provided the gloss on what was a historical win for Rochdale and was easily the goal of the day.